Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team has confirmed that Ott Tänak will drive the Yaris WRC from Rallye Monte-Carlo next year, together with his co-driver Martin Jarveoja. The 30-year-old Estonian, winner of two rallies so far this season, has been one of the outstanding performers on the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship.
Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT will enter its second season with three Yaris WRC models on every event, with Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila and Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm completing the driver line-up.
Kaj Lindström (below), currently co-driver for Juho Hänninen, will take on a new role as sporting director for the team, starting from Rally Australia this year. With this revised line-up, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT will continue its challenge into the 2018 season.
Team Prinicpal Tommi Mäkinen commented: “We’re delighted to have secured the services of Ott, having had our eyes on him for a while. He represents the perfect blend of youth and experience, together with the right sort of mental attitude that means he will fit into our team very well. Like the Yaris WRC, Ott has exceeded all expectations this year, so I’m sure it will be a strong partnership with both speed and consistency on all surfaces.
“I’d also like to congratulate Kaj on his new role. One of my favourite memories of my own driving career is our win in Monte-Carlo; from this, and the experience of working with him since, I know that Kaj is the ultimate professional and he is sure to be a strong asset as we continue our team’s development.
“Finally, I would like to express my thanks and appreciation for everything that Juho has done for us. He will always be a member of our family, and has played an important part in taking us to where we are today.”
About Ott Tänak:
Date of birth: 15 Oct 1987
Age: 30 years old
2008 Estonian Rally Champion
2009 Estonian Rally Champion
2009 First WRC rally
2010 European Pirelli Star Driver
2011 2nd overall FIA SWRC Championship (3 wins)
2017 First WRC win, Rally Sardinia, second win in Rally Germany
77 WRC starts
379 points scored
73 stage wins